The Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Forklift Trucking

By Freddie Pierce
Do you remember that scene in the movie Forrest Gump when Forrests best friend Bubba speaks of shrimp in every imaginable way thats known to man? If yo...

Do you remember that scene in the movie Forrest Gump when Forrest’s best friend Bubba speaks of shrimp in every imaginable way that’s known to man? If you don’t, Bubba, a former shrimp boater, calls shrimp the “fruit of the sea” and in one scene gives Forrest an all-inclusive menu of shrimp-related items.
You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it and sauté it. There’s shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, and shrimp gumbo. You can pan fry it, deep fry it and stir fry it. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes. There’s even shrimp burgers and a shrimp sandwiches.

Then Bubba, almost dumbfounded, looks up at Forrest and says, “Yup, that’s about it.”

We remind you of this scene only because there was such a strong connection between Bubba’s acute description of shrimp and the picture that was painted for us by lift truck manufacturers when we asked them to discuss handling equipment.

Well, you got your basic forklifts. There’s pallet trucks, walkie low lifts, rider low lifts and towing tractors. There’s rider stackers, reach trucks, tow motors, fork hoists and side loaders. And you can’t forget about telescopic handlers, order pickers, flexi trucks, bendi trucks and three-wheel stand ups.

Although Forrest had more ways to make or eat shrimp than he could ever imagine, at the end of the day the only thing that matters is that the shrimp tastes good. That’s it. Likewise, the same can be said about material handling equipment. When it comes to purchasing equipment, no matter what it is, the only thing that really matters is efficiency. There might be different styles and gear, but more than ever, today it seems that purchases are made solely to address efficiency-related issue in much-needed areas.

At this point you might be asking yourself, “Did they really just compare Purchasing Managers to a fictional shrimp boater named Bubba?” You’re damn right we did! We did so in the interest of showing consumers that when it comes to buying a forklift—no matter the make, model, or way it looks—the only thing that truly matters is its efficiency. At last, Supply Chain Digital is proud to bring you the best trucks from the best companies in the materials handling industry today. Price quotes for each of these lifts can be found at the manufacturer’s home page, which we’ve listed for you.


Lifting Capacity: 4,000-6,500lbs

Key Features:
• Toyota SAS monitors key forklift operations, detecting and counteracting instability to help reduce the risk of tipovers.
• Touch-pad, keyless entry system with password protection option allows only designated personnel to operate the equipment.
• EZ Pedal option allows operators to quickly and easily change travel direction without removing a hand from the steering wheel or hydraulic controls.



Lifting Capacity: 4,000-6,000lbs

Key Features:
• The Platinum QX 4-Wheel deploys an 80 volt, brushless AC drive motor and AC pump motor.
• A Multi-function LCD display comes full equipped with: BDI with lift interrupt, hour meters (4), speedometer, and clock.
• Nissan brings deck-mounted, separate lift/tilt hydraulic control levers, with 3-spool valve into play with the Platinum Qx.



 Lifting Capacity: 3,000-4,000lbs

Key Features:
• The ERP-VT/VF series utilizes proven AC technology coupled with the “Intellix” VSM, providing enhanced performance throughout the usable battery discharge cycle.
• AC motors provide powerful acceleration, fast travel speeds (both with and without a load), and fast lift/lower speeds.
• Operator comfort is enhanced on the ERP_VT/VF with ample floor space, improved operator seat position, and non-cinching seat belt.


Lifting Capacity: 7,000lbs

Key Features:
• The H70FT’s superior airflow and choice of heavy-duty cooling systems keep heat in check, while providing world-class dependability in even the harshest of environments.
• A rear-opening one-piece hood (opens up 85 degrees) and easy-to-remove one-piece floor plate (no tools required) provide industry’s best cowl-to-counterweight service access.
• The advanced ergonomic features significantly reduce operator fatigue and increase productivity through superior operator comfort; precise, effortless handling; and easy entry and exit.


SC 4500 Series

Lifting Capacity: 3,000-4,000lbs

Key Features:
• A 36-volt electrical system controlled by Crown's state-of-the-art Access 1 2 3, Comprehensive System Control.
• Cornering Speed Control is a feature that automatically adjusts travel speed in turns during forward travel based on the weight on the forks, the angle of the steer tires, and the speed of the truck.
• The Intrinsic Stability System on the SC4500 includes: system controlled hydraulic speeds, travel speed control, lift/tilty interlock, stability-enhanced counterweight, cornering speed control and ramp speed control



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